Segway Ninebot ES3 Review
The Ninebot Segway ES3 is an upgrade from the ES1 and ES2, with the main difference being that it simply has a much-anticipated improvement to the battery compartment, meaning that the ES3 is a longer-range scooter that packs more punch. The ES3 opts for a comfortable 15.5 mph which is ideal for the average commuter, but certainly not the fastest on the market. If you’re after a lightweight scooter that will get you through a long commute on a single charge and that operates at a safe speed, this is the scooter for you. Despite being durable, I’d recommend considering your ride-route given the non-pneumatic tires which can make riding over anything rougher than smooth asphalt a little uncomfortable.
Segway Ninebot ES3 Review: 10 Things You Need to Know
Who is it Best For?
Will the Ninebot ES3 Be a Good Fit For You?
The ES3 is set apart from its predecessors (the ES1 and ES2) due to its impressive dual battery system which dramatically increases the range of the scooter. So, if you’re looking for a scooter that can not only get you from A to B but back again without breaking a sweat, then the ES3 is a good fit for you.
It is an overall well-balanced scooter that is ideal for commuting or leisurely rides through urban cityscapes.
Pros and Cons
- Cruise control
- LED panel
- Bright headlight
- Bumpy on uneven terrain
- No rear lights
Is the Ninebot ES3 Comfortable to Ride?
From the rubber handgrips to the anti-slip deck and the easy-to-use throttle and brake, the ES3 is enjoyable to ride. It even features cruise control, meaning you don’t have to keep your thumb glued to the throttle non-stop when riding through familiar routes.
The front shock absorption goes some way to counteract uneven terrain, but you will still feel bumps in the road due to the non-pneumatic, solid rubber tires.
The Ninebot ES3 has a pretty standard handlebar design that you’ll find on most scooters. The handlebars sit perpendicular to the handlebar post. Underneath each handgrip, you’ll find a thumb lever: an accelerator control on the right and the electric brake on the left. The controls are really easy to use and you’ll find getting to grips with the ES3 a dream.
Similar to the Ninebot ES4, one model up the chain, the ES3 improves on older Ninebot models, like the ES1 and ES2, by featuring rubber anti-slip grips that give you control of your ride. The rubber handles are also far more long-lasting and easier to clean than the older foam grips.
Seamlessly integrated into the center of the handlebar is an LED panel that displays handy information about your speed and battery level. Located directly underneath the panel is the power button, where, you guessed it, you can turn the scooter on and off, but also with a single click, power up the bright headlight. With two quick consecutive clicks, you can change your riding mode to one of three options: Speed Limit, Standard, and Sports mode (more on these later).
The ES3’s frame has a simple, monochrome design. It’s sleek and elegant making it ideal if you live in an urban area or simply want a scooter that is befitting of a luxury accessory.
The side and rear reflectors are a neat safety feature, but if you’re after a scooter that has the adding touch of flare and command attention, then you’ll be better off with the Ninebot ES4 that features customizable colored LED lights that line the sides of the deck.
All materials used for the ES3 have the perfect balance of lightness and durability, lending themselves to a strong, sturdy frame.
Upon receiving the ES3 you’ll notice that the deck is thin. This is because, unlike other scooters, the battery isn’t located within the deck, but rather, is located inside the handlebar stem.
The deck is wide enough to be comfortable for adults’ feet and the anti-slip rubber surface keeps your feet in place even when wet. This not only enhances the safety of the ES3 but promotes additional comfort since you can focus on enjoying the ride as opposed to worrying if your foot is going to slip. It helps with balance too which is a real asset for beginners.
The ES3 is equipped with an 8” solid rubber tire in the front and a 7.5” one in the rear to match. I’m not the biggest fan of solid tires. From my experience riding scooters, they don’t do as good of a job as pneumatic (air-filled) tires do. Have you ever ridden a bike with solid tires? Your answer is probably a resounding no. There’s a reason why the majority of bikes have air-filled tires and that is because they provide more cushioning and as a result, allow for a more comfortable riding experience. The same applies to electric scooters.
There is one bonus of the solid rubber tires though – they’re super durable, low maintenance, and there’s no fear of punctures.
I wouldn’t recommend riding the ES3 on anything other than smooth asphalt. The front shock absorption counteracts small lumps and bumps in the road below, but your ride will become jarring when traversing over rough pavements.
Build Quality & Durability
The lightweight frame is constructed from a durable, hard-wearing aluminum alloy that can withstand extensive use. In terms of the solid tires, though they have their pitfalls, their long-lasting nature boasts increased durability. Overall, you can rest assured that the ES3 is of high build quality and will last the test of time.
It’s worth noting that the ES3 has been fitted with some plastic parts including the front wheel fender, thumb throttle/electronic brake, and rear foot brake. However, this to be expected and is not out of the ordinary. Since plastic is less durable than the aluminum alloy used to forge the frame and deck, you’ll be glad to know that if there are damaged pieces, Segway will repair your scooter within the warranty period.
Weight & Load
The ES3 weighs in at 30 lbs (13.6 kg), which is ever so slightly lighter than its big brother, the Ninebot ES4. The good news is that it is easy to lift and carry in one hand, making it perfect for a commuter scooter. In fact, it’s the lightest long-range electric scooter that you can get (this is based on 60+ scooter reviews).
As is standard for the majority of electric scooters, the ES3 is capable of supporting riders up to 220 lbs (100 kg). If you are towards the upper limit of the load capacity or weigh more than this, check out my guide to the best electric scooters for heavy adults.
Folding & Portability
The Segway Ninebot ES3 boasts enhanced portability: it’s not only foldable but it’s lightweight, even with the dual batteries.
The scooter measures 45” x 17” x 16” when folded. The oversized stem is 3” (7.6 cm) larger in diameter and length in comparison to similar scooters on the market, which is as a result of it housing the dual batteries. Whilst this isn’t an issue, I could imagine it being more difficult to carry if you have small hands. Nevertheless, you can still grab hold of the handlebars and roll it.
The only way the ES3 could be improved in regards to portability is if it had foldable handlebars. These make scooters far more compact and even easier to store when you don’t have much space.
The Segway Ninebot ES3 comes with everything you need to assemble it. Each part of the scooter is very well packaged and protected, so your scooter will look brand-spanking new when you get it straight out the box. This may sound like a given, but some cheap Chinese exports end up getting battered in their flimsy cardboard boxes.
When it arrives, the ES3 is almost fully assembled. All that is left is to install the handlebar to the stem and secure it with the 4 screws provided. It’s a very simple process and all the tools you need are provided. It’s not like getting a toy when you were younger to realize it needed batteries and there were none included!
The tires come pre-mounted and, owing to the fact they are solid, you don’t need to pump them up before you’re ready to set off on your first ride.
You can also opt for a detachable seat – but, this does make assembling the ES3 a little longer. This is because of the four small screws required to connect the seat to the deck.
Performance & Safety
Speed & Acceleration
Similar to other Ninebot models, to get the ES3 up and running you have to kickstart it to set it in motion and then press the right acceleration throttle.
The 250W motor, that has a peak max output of 600W, propels the ES3 to a max speed of 15.5 mph. This is the same top speed as the slightly cheaper ES2, but it’s likely the team at Segway opted for this peak speed with the commuting customer in mind: it’s unlikely you’ll need to go much quicker than this. When you want a scooter for commuting, range is a more important factor than speed for most, especially when riding through busy, urban areas with lots of traffic lights.
The ES3 gives you three riding Modes: Speed Limit, Standard, and Sport.
Speed Limit delivers minimum power/speed and increased range, Standard increases the speed and allows for moderate range, and Sport unleashes the ES3’s power. There’s also a nifty option to enable cruise control to set a constant speed without using the throttle. Not having to use the throttle gives your thumb a break which is a welcome relief if you’ve got a long journey ahead.
The ES3 is packed with both an internal and external lithium-ion battery that are capable of long-range performance.
The range on offer is the most prominent difference between the ES3 and previous Ninebot models. At max capacity, the powerful batteries combine to enable the ES3 to endure an astounding 28 mile round trip. You will only achieve this impressive range if you ride economically, though. If you plan to ride aggressively at peak speed you’re more likely to get about 22-23 miles on a single charge.
Small inclines are no problem for the ES3 and you won’t experience any issues getting uphill grades around 15%.
However, if you’re running low on juice in the tank, you’ll need to push the ES3 to get up inclines that are in the upper-limits of its capabilities.
Shock Absorption / Suspension
There’s a fair amount of conjecture about whether the front shock absorbers on the ES3 do enough to counteract the bumpy ride associated with solid, non-pneumatic tires.
Some say that the absorption system provides suitable cushioning on any street, but, in my opinion, you won’t get the best out of the ES3 unless you pay attention to the surface you’re riding over.
The shock absorption will alleviate very small lumps and bumps in the road, but you’re best off riding on smooth asphalt and avoiding rough terrain that will be jarring.
Segway is renowned for being safety conscious and it’s evident that this has been instilled in the ES3. Featuring a dual braking system that has a rear mechanical foot brake and an electric brake that you operate with the left paddle on the handlebar, they feel very responsive and you’ll quickly ease into using both, if necessary.
Testing the power of the brakes shows that they can make the scooter come to a stop quickly, which is great but can be a little daunting when the scooter responds so quickly in an emergency. But hey, that’s what brakes are made for, right? And if you’re riding your scooter responsibly, it should be rare for you to need to slam on the brakes.
The front electric brake also utilizes KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), the same technology used by F1 racing cars, to feed part of the energy generated from when you use the brake back into the battery for enhanced mileage.
On account of the dual batteries, the ES3 does take slightly longer to full charge than others on the market. A full charge of both batteries takes around 7 hours, which, though not the quickest out there, is in line with the majority of scooters that deliver a similar level of performance.
If you’re running short on time, you don’t have to wait for both batteries to charge because the scooter can run on just the internal one. Simply charge the internal battery for 3.5 hours and pop the external one in your backpack ready to juice up at your destination. This will cut the range in half, but if you know you’re not traveling too far this is a handy option.
The centrally located LED panel on the handlebars shows you the amount of battery left via 5 bars, each equating to 20% of power. The only improvement here would be to have the battery level presented as a percentage to give you an exact idea of how much juice you’ve got left.
A nice addition to the ES3 is the built-in LED panel that displays your current speed and battery level, as well as the mode you’re riding in.
While the information displayed is basic, it’s more than enough for first-time riders. More advanced riders may prefer the option to customize their ride via an LED control panel. If this sounds up your street, check out the Apollo City.
The ES3 features a headlight, side, and rear reflectors. The headlight is pretty powerful and will illuminate the road ahead whilst alerting other pedestrians and vehicles to your presence, but it could be worth purchasing an additional light for the back of your scooter as the rear reflector doesn’t light you up.
Turning the headlight on takes a simple click of the power button, located directly below the LED panel.
As someone who’s done long journeys on a scooter before, I can’t stress enough how welcome this feature is. It means you can ride economically, take in the views around you, and enjoy the ride as you glide through the city streets.
Mobile App & Bluetooth
The mobile app is intuitive to use.
All you need to do is download the Segway-Ninebot app (iOS and Android) and pair the scooter to your phone via Bluetooth. This unlocks the full range of scooter features, connects you with the Segway community, helps you record travel routes and view your stats, and upgrades the firmware of your scooter. It also guides you through basic instructions about how to use your scooter which is handy when you’re still getting to grips with the ES3 and its functionality – especially if this is your first scooter.
Water Resistance Rating
With an IP54 water-resistance rating, the ES3 isn’t completely waterproof but it can deal with splashes and light rain. This is pretty standard.
Detachable Extended Battery Pack & Battery Management System
As previously mentioned, the ES3 comes with two batteries: one that’s located within the stem and the other on the outside of the stem. The external battery is very well protected with a solid case, so there’s nothing to worry about in terms of increased exposure to the elements, but it’s what’s inside that should pique your interest.
Both batteries are maintained by a management system that protects against overheating, short-circuiting, overcurrents, and overcharging. This prolongs battery life and ensures that they can be recharged over and over again, making the ES3 a worthwhile investment.
Optional Seat Attachment
If you like the idea of having a scooter that gives you the versatility to either stand or sit, then you’re in for a treat. The optional seat attachment, compatible with the Ninebot ES1, ES2, ES3, and ES4, has been designed with comfort in mind.
It features a large, foam-padded seat that is supported by 2 shock absorbers and a suspension system in the stem that helps soak up bumps in the road below. The seat itself has also been treated with a special coating that protects the leather to prevent premature wear and tear.
Attaching the seat takes a few minutes but you should be aware that you can’t fold the scooter with both the seat and external battery attached. If you remove the external battery you can fold the scooter with the seat.
Specification: Segway Ninebot ES3 Review
Value for Money
Is it Worth the Price Tag?
The Segway Ninebot ES3 is significantly cheaper than the ES4, which makes it worth the investment if range is your key criteria, and you don’t have the need for speed. The features are smart, sleek, and durable, with the only downside being the non-pneumatic tires falling short on shock absorption.
Overall, the ES3 is a reliable, lightweight commuter model for the urbanite who wants to invest in a scooter designed by a world-renowned personal transport manufacturer.
What Other Scooters Should You Consider?
Warranty & Post-Purchase Support
All Ninebot scooters are covered by a 12-month warranty, including the ES3.
The 12-month warranty is split into 3 areas. The first is the body that covers the deck, wheels, handlebars, etc for 12-months cover. The second is other components, including the battery, battery charger, electronic throttle/brake paddle, etc for 6-months cover. And, third and final, is the components subject to wear, such as the handlebar grips, headlight, kickstand, etc for 3-months cover.
If you have any issues with your ES3 as a result of normal and ordinary use then you can send the scooter back to Segway but you will have to pay the shipping fees. Alternatively, if you have a problem that can be solved over the phone or by email, the team at Segway is happy to help.
Specification: Segway Ninebot ES3 Review